State of the Union Speech by William J. Clinton Essay
On January 27, 2000, former President William J.
Clinton delivered his last State of the Union address to the American people. Given just after the turn of the new millennium, the focus of the speech was to present the successes of his eight years in office, and to put forth the goals that needed to be achieved to create a better society and world for future generations. Several aspects of the speech are worthy of praise.First and foremost is its structure. The speech is broken down into eight sections, covering the following topics: education, family and community, employment, crime, economic expansion, globalization and leadership, the environment, and science and technology.
In each section, he begins by highlighting the gains that had been made, then continues by highlighting what he hopes to further accomplish.Through using the technique of asking Congress and the American people to support his agenda in these various areas, he makes it evident that he is aware that the efforts of the government and of the people would be what made these goals reality. Second is his usage of statistics throughout the speech to highlight the various accomplishments of his tenure as president. From the very start, he points out areas where there has been a percentage drop between the time he assumed office and the giving of this speech.For example, early in the speech he states the following: “We begin the new century with over 20 million new jobs.
The fastest economic growth in more than 30 years; the lowest unemployment rates in more than 30 years; the lowest poverty rates in 20 years; the lowest African-American and Hispanic unemployment rates on record; the first back-to-back budget surpluses in 42 years. ” This statement, as well as others in the speech, serves as a reminder to the American people of the wise choice they made in voting him into office for two terms as president.It also demonstrates his ability and commitment to effectively run what is considered to be one of the top nations in the world. Third are the various references to the aspirations of the Founding Fathers, who all wanted the average American to have freedom, prosperity and happiness. One example can be seen early in the speech, when he is stating his pledge to 21st century America: “… America will lead the world toward shared peace and prosperity, … And we will become at last what our founders pledged us to be so long ago – one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
A second example can be seen at the very end of the speech, in which he states that America is still a new nation, just as it was coming out of the American Revolution. Fourth are the various correlations between current times and events going far back into American history. As with his references to the ideals of the Founding Fathers, his references to various historical figures such as Theodore Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson serve to emphasize various points he is making with regard to issues such as the national debt, which had been wiped out during the presidency of Andrew Jackson.Tying together the past with the present and the future is a technique that demonstrates how well Clinton understood the crucial impact of history. As the saying goes, you cannot know where you are and where you are going if you do not where you have come from.
Finally, there is the use of repetition throughout the speech. For many, constant repetition can be viewed as disadvantage. However, in the manner Clinton used it, it turns out to be something of an advantage. Continually repeating his successes serves as emphasis of his success as the leader of a nation that many view as a major world power. Also, read the
com/english-speech-on-current-issues/”>speech on current issues example
com/english-speech-on-current-issues/”>speech on current issues exampleDoing this proves, as was previously stated, that Clinton was the right man to lead the country into the new millennium, which occurred shortly before the deliverance of this speech. This State of the Union address should be viewed as a resounding success. Not only does it highlight the productiveness of the Clinton presidency, it demonstrates that, despite various scandals that occurred during his term in office, Clinton still proved to the American public and the world at large that having sound, effective policies will lead to the creation and strengthening of a better nation.As demonstrated, various factors contributed to the making of an excellent speech. Not only were all the various problems and issues facing the country addressed, viable solutions were presented, and it was all done in a manner that everyone from the highest level to the lowest level could relate to. This is the hallmark of a good speaker and leader: to make all of his or her constituents feel like they are part of what is going on within the government and within the country itself.
Thus, it is clear to see that the merits of this speech are all good.The goal was to put forth a message of success and hope to the American people. Clinton accomplishes this quite successfully, demonstrating the poise, charisma, and intelligence that carried him through his tenure as president through his words. He set out to revitalize the country when he entered into office in 1992, and from his statement early on in his speech that “the state of the union is the strongest it has ever been”, he achieved his goal.
This speech, then, is a celebration of all he achieved, and a ray of hope for what he hopes can be achieved in the future.